Local Business

Salaries in UAE set to go up in 2017

Staff Report/Dubai
Filed on October 18, 2016 | Last updated on October 18, 2016 at 04.57 pm
Salaries in UAE set to go up in 2017
Businesses are more willing to negotiate salary with their most sought-after potential hires.

(KT file)

Specialist professionals are in high demand and supply is failing to keep pace.

Starting salaries for professional roles in finance and accounting, financial services, technology and administration in the UAE to grow by 2.5 per cent over the next year, according to the Robert Half 2017 Salary Guide.

The Robert Half 2017 Salary Guide is the most comprehensive and authoritative resource on starting salaries and recruitment trends in finance and accounting, financial services, IT, legal, and HR and administration. The Salary Guide enables employers and employees to benchmark salaries for over 185 different permanent professional roles in the UAE.

Gareth El Mettouri, associate director, Robert Half UAE, commented: "The need to attract and retain specialist professionals is a key priority for firms - whether a start-up business, a local SME or multinational organisations - as they prepare to seek out new commercial opportunities. Despite some ongoing uncertainty across the region, hard-to-fill and business critical roles continue to experience higher than average starting salary rises."

Accountancy and finance

Starting salaries for accounting and finance roles within SMEs.

Financial services

It has become increasingly difficult to attract expatriate financial services professionals to the region. This combined with increases to DFSA regulation has resulted in firms turning to local talent to fill positions within the sector. As productivity and commercial gains are being closely measured, the demand is high for associate to vice-president level professionals who can add value from day one. Average salary increases for financial services professionals are predicted to rise by 1.2 per cent.


The adoption of emerging technologies, ERP platforms and mobile solutions is driving a strong demand for talented technology professionals to the region on both a local and international basis. With IT enhancements required to ensure UAE firms remain competitive, project managers continue to be a position of high-demand. Overall, technology roles are set to receive a starting salary average increase of 2.4 per cent.

Human resources and administration

The need to attract and retain key professionals within the region has become a strategic priority for HR departments within organisations of all sizes. As such, HR management is having to align with their Western counterparts and companies are investing in human management programmes to source efficiencies. Roles across HR and administrations are expected to see an average rise of 3.8 per cent.


Western-educated legal professionals with international experience combined with local compliance and regulation knowledge are highly valued, and as such are in high demand. Roles within the legal function, both in-house and within private practice are predicted to receive an average starting salary increase of three per cent.

El Mettouri added: "With specialist professionals in high demand and supply failing to keep pace, businesses are more willing to negotiate salary with their most sought-after potential hires. To remain competitive and not lose out on preferred candidates, it's crucial to have a solid understanding of salary trends and to move quickly when making an offer.

"As international markets improve, it is important to offer competitive remuneration, a strong career path and a positive working environment in a bid to attract and retain expat professionals in the region. Using industry publications, such as the Robert Half Salary Guide is one way of keeping a finger on the pulse on the latest hiring and salary trends."

- business@khaleejtimes.com


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